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Ark Naturals Appoints New President and CEO


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Michael Stoeckle has joined Ark Naturals as president and CEO. Stoeckle has spent the past 30 years managing branded consumer packaged goods companies, with extensive experience in the U.S. pet industry.

He worked in several capacities at Solid Gold Pet, a premium pet food company, as vice president of corporate strategy and prior to that as vice president of sales and marketing. Prior to Solid Gold Pet, he was vice president of sales for Waggin’ Train, a subsidiary of Nestle-Purina producing a line of natural dog treats. Most recently, he was vice president of sales and marketing at Spray & Forget Outdoor Cleaning Products.

Michelle Higdon, a pet industry executive, will be joining the board of directors and become a key contributor to Ark Naturals. Higdon currently serves as the CEO of Jones Naturals in Rockford, Ill.  Prior to Jones Naturals, she was the CEO of Solid Gold Pet and was formerly the president and COO of Waggin’ Train.

Jay and Susan Weiss, who founded the Naples, Fla.-based company, will continue as board members and shareholders. 

The new leadership team has deep experience and relationships throughout the pet industry, which will allow Ark Naturals to fulfill its true potential driven by superior products, new distribution and an enhanced level of customer service, according to Ark Naturals officials.

The company has also obtained new financial resources for growth provided by Azalea Capital in Greenville, S.C. The investment in the company, combined with the infusion of new leadership, will provide Ark Naturals even greater capability to deliver the highest quality and most innovative products to promote the health, well-being and a better life for our family pets, officials added.

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